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France’s most popular car is back – but not as you know it

Fifty years after Renault launched its ubiquitous R5, a top designer has given it a luxurious marble and diamanté makeover

Designer Pierre Gonalons with the R5 Diamant Pic: Renault/Gaëlle le Boulicaut/CrazyBaby

A twisted marble steering wheel and diamond-inspired headlights are just two of the eye-catching features on a newly unveiled Renault concept car.

Based on its R5 electric model, which is due to hit showrooms in 2024, the R5 Diamant also marks 50 years since the first Renault 5.

Some five million of these were turned out between 1972 and 1984, making it France’s most popular car.

Element of fantasy

Designer Pierre Gonalons was hired to inject an element of fantasy to the show vehicle. 

He came up with sugary pink bodywork, gold-plated bronze handles, fine horsehair fabric for the seats and dashboard – and a sculptural marble and carbon steering wheel.

Dozens of artisans worked to make the design a one-off reality which will be exhibited at car shows for the next 18 months.

R5 electric

The R5 electric will be an important model for Renault. It is the first electric-only car for the firm since the Zoe.

Read more: A luxury feel while driving but very pricey

Among its innovative features is the ability to use the car’s battery to sell electricity back to the grid at times of peak demand.

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